• IN WORDS: Lewis & Valtteri Talk Austria

Talking car upgrades, fine margins and the Red Bull Ring...

'First real, serious upgrades'

The team has brought a raft of new parts to the Austrian Grand Prix and Lewis is looking forward to seeing the impact they will have out on track.

"Up until now we've not really had a lot of development parts on the car, so it's great to see," the Brit explained.

"I've been aware that the guys have been working increasingly harder to try and make sure that we bring quality rather than quantity

"So, it's great to see some new bits here this weekend and I'm excited to try them on track. It will undoubtedly help us in our battle.

"I'm excited because when you bolt something to the car, which we haven't really bolted to the car this year, it's one of the first real serious upgrades, it's great when you get out there.

"You feel the first couple of points straight away in a certain corner, you feel those improvements. I'm looking forward to experiencing it and trying to figure out where those improvements are on the circuit."

'The margins are very small'

Valtteri is also excited to try out the new upgrades and admits that in such a close fight at the front, any small gains that can be made are absolutely crucial.

"I hope it's massive, but of course we have to find out," the Finn said. "It's a decent upgrade, which is very much needed, like any small gain this year, so I'm looking forward to trying it out.

"Last weekend with the new engine, it was positive. But, now even with the engines between us and Ferrari the margins are very, very small.

"I don't feel like we really have the upper hand like Mercedes has had in past seasons with the engine. So, any small gains are important.

"The team has been good reacting to situations, if we feel like we have been on the back foot or had issues. We have been very strong in solving issues and learning through the season.

"They've been working really hard on these new upgrades. The development race is going to continue and as it is not, it's going to be really important."

'It's still a massive challenge'

Despite being one of the shortest laps of the year, with the fewest corners of any circuit on the calendar, Lewis admits the Red Bull Ring is still a tricky track to master. 

"We are so much closer, as it is such a short circuit," he said. "So, everything is going to be closer than ever before.

"I'm expecting it to be one of the closest qualifying sessions we probably have this season.

"I definitely don't think that Austria is one of my strongest tracks. It has been good for the team.

"The track's first two sections are pretty easy. The middle and then the last sector is when it becomes a little bit trickier.

"There aren't a lot of corners, so it is not one of the most complex circuits but it's still a challenge as it is mostly medium and high-speed.

"Obviously the higher the speed you are going the more accurate you need to be with your turn-in points, your reference points and your apexes. It is still a massive challenge."

'I have to look ahead'

After the disappointment of France, Valtteri has turned a new page and isn't feeling any additional pressure this weekend in Austria after his triumphant victory last year.

"I'm only looking ahead," he said. "I have learned to turn the page and move on. It was a mistake from Sebastian, which he admitted, and there is nothing I can do to change it. I have to look ahead.

"There's not more pressure after last year. Every weekend, you always start from zero no matter what has happened in the past.

"It was a good, strong weekend for me in Austria last year in both qualifying and the race. I also have good memories of 2014, my first podium.

"I just like the track, I can't say any particular points of why it is a good circuit for me. I just like it, it's enjoyable to drive.

"Hopefully this year we can be as strong as a team as we were last year."